People suffering due to mal-governance should speak out so that remedial measures could be taken, Karnataka Lok Ayukta Justice N Venkatacala said on Saturday.
Presiding over a seminar on ''To Improve Governance'' organised by Transparency International India (TII) here he said people, to a large extent, had lost hopes of good governance as elected representatives had failed to curb corruption, which had assumed alarming proportions.
Mounting a scathing attack on corrupt politicians and bureaucrats he said Politicians, bureaucrats, tax evaders and rowdies have 'ganged' together in their corrupt ways to do maximum harm to the country.
Citing the 'India Corruption Study-2005' conducted by TII which had estimated that over Rs 21,000 was paid as bribes, he said, ''Corruption has become ruinous to our country and it is unfortunate that our elected representatives who came to power have not cared for it.'' On the occasion, Justice Venkatachala, who has been wide appreciated for his anti-corruption drive in Karnataka state, was conferred 'Living Legend of Karnataka' award by the TII. The award was presented by Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph.
The Lok Ayukta said the recently introduced Right to Information Act (RIA) would go a long way in making the public servents acountable for their work.
Expressing happiness over United Nations convention against corruption, he said now there was an international law to fight corruption. ''India was the last country to become signatory to this convention. The money corrupt politicians and officials park in Swiss bank is now accountable,'' he said.
In his welcome address, TII National Chapter Chairman Admiral R H Tahiliani said India Corruption Study conducted in 20 states had revealed how deep the problem of corruption was in the country.
Corruption in the country had a vicious linkage from political to official level. However, citizens should also be made accountable as they too were equally guilty. ''People pay bribes to gain undue favours which may be against the law. We have to fight against all these tendencies,'' he added.
Terming corruption as a live issue, Justice Joseph said people had a right to have good governence. However, it depends on the government they choose. ''We get the government we deserve. Only good governence can establish just society. Hence people have to be cautious when they choose a government,'' he said.